Christine Howard Sandoval: the green shoot that cracks the rock

1326 South Boyle Avenue
May 27, 6 PM - 8 PM — ends Jul 16, 2022
Parrasch Heijnen is pleased to present the gallery’s first exhibition with Vancouver-based Christine Howard Sandoval (b. Anaheim, CA, 1975) featuring the artist’s architectural drawings, sculptures and experimental film.

Howard Sandoval’s embodied work confronts the complex history and innate interconnection of land and body. As she traces a path to her ancestral home, the artist scrutinizes the narrative of erasure in early North American settler’s records and reassigns power through documentation of embedded Indigenous cultural practices. Her poetic oeuvre seeks to weave a collective awareness back to nature by means of a more cyclical and deepened relationship with land and place.

The land, as an ever-evolving being, plays a central role in Howard Sandoval’s visual language. Taking adobe as her main medium, the artist explores its inherent properties of historical, familial and ecological histories. Adobe mud requires a bodily process to mix soil (sand, silt and clay), water and often straw to form a workable, malleable and ultimately structural material. In this ongoing investigation, she emphasizes the intentionally omitted history of forced labor, land theft, and the violent genocidal actions Indigenous people experienced.

Within this new body of work, Howard Sandoval compresses the architectural space of Mission Soledad, focusing on the location of her ancestors. These literal landscapes depict flattened passageways and facades perceived from every angle; within and at a distance, forward and backward. The application of pigmented green overlay in The Fire and After The Fire relays emergent space bringing new life and understanding. Using a highly tactile process, she mounds the adobe onto vinyl, paper and panel then peels away layers–mirroring the obstruction of past histories–to reveal untouched space. The woven sculptures utilize a similar adobe layering technique though in a three-dimensional form referencing the archways, stones, baskets and Indigenous mound formations. In the smaller series of mounds adobe binds the space between spliced lines of historical documents.